By Gladys Nweke
As part of ways to end all forms of violence against persons, stakeholders and members of the civil societies in the state have recommended stiffer penalties for offenders
They gave this at a Public Hearing on the violence against persons prohibition bill 2019 organised by an adhoc committee on the bill
The bill which is jointly sponsored by the leader of the state House of Assembly, Hon Martin Amaewhule, and the lawmaker representing Emohua state constituency, Hon Sam Ogeh is expected to provide for a law that would eliminate violence in private and public life and provide maximum protection and effective remedies for Victims and punishment for offenders
Chairman of the adhoc committee, Hon Enemi George, during the event stressed the need for the bill, describing it as very important
He said, issues pertaining to violence against persons are very topical, very sensitive and added that the bill affects all citizen and residents of the state.
Hon Enemi who described the statistics of violence against persons in the country as alarming expressed worry that a good percentage of such violence are from spouses.
So it is very important for us to have this public hearing and let members of the public be part of this process, to bring to bare their contributions so that when the bill eventually comes to light it would be an all encompassing law that had contributions from every sensitive stakeholders’ he averred
Chairperson international federation of women lawyers FIDA Ngozi Ordukwe during her presentation expressed worry on the rate of gender based violence in the state particularly the rape of minors and the inadequate legal framework to prosecute such offences
As a professional legal stakeholder in the justice sector of the state, we see an array of hope and we are strengthened by the proposed bill’ she said, ‘ adding that the bill is the only holistic instrument that succinctly addresses the issue of gender based violence.
Representatives from the Nigeria Association of women journalists, (NAWOJ)Nigeria Medical Women Association (NMWA) office of the State Attorney General and the ministry of women affairs were in attendance